I dated a girl a while ago who stopped wanting to date me because she felt i wasn’t her type. she wanted to date someone that was more safe. I made her feel uncomfortable and while i’m honest, i was a bit too much of a player. she wanted a more safe type of guy. someone more humble, more down to earth, more conservative… someone that wouldn’t hurt her emotionally. it hurt like hell to hear this. especially since i’ve stopped cheating a long time ago, and i value honesty so much…. but…. we only dated a few times, so i didn’t have much choice other than to just let her go. and she found her quiet, good boy. Today she called me crying…. she found out he’s been cheating on her.
i did respond kindly, with sympathy…. but you know what? deep down… i fucking LOVED this. i loved hearing that she was wrong, and that my belief that anyone can fall from grace and that people all have demons they hide…. …. that getting validated… i was in such a good mood. the whole day i was in a good mood.
and that’s when it hit me. i was valuing something outside of my control. i was validated… by someone else’s actions… and i felt good.
I’ve been working on my issues with insecurity and while i realized i dont’ value myself as a lover, i do value myself as a human being. but i’ve been struggling to understand what my “values” are… when it comes to myself as a lover.
There’s 2 types of values … good values and bad values….
Essentially, good values are generally ones that are from within. ones we can control, and we can exert our own will over. honesty, kindness, bravery, sympathy, compassion, work ethic, morals, etc… these are ones you can control and are harder to change.
Bad values, tend to come from external forces. examples could be money, how others see us, being liked, attention, etc…
the challenge is that we dont’ always CHOOSE one. we fall into traps. Example, i’ve always valued strong relationships… deep romantic relationships. that’s a good value… you can strive to have a deep relationship. no harm there. however, somewhere along the way… i got it in my head that the metric for a good relationship is contact. ie. how much someone texts me… or contacts me. now i know the number of texts isn’t my actual value system… but i got so addicted and used to that metric… that it MIGHT AS WELL have become my value system. the problem with that is obvious, and it’s as ridiculous as it sounds. in fact, saying it out loud, i get a bit red in the face and embarrassed that i’m like this.
well, today… i learned that i valued being right. i valued that validation that someone gave me… even by their own suffering. Now, many would enjoy this experience in some ways…. and we are human , and it’s ok to have some amount of joy from being told you are basically a good person/right… but should it be the one factor that decides you have a good day? whether or not someone validates my fidelity…. should NOT be the measure by which i stand my ground.
i’m still working on what my actual values should be, and many are rooted in their own history.. .and have been convoluted and corrupted into… well whatever the fuck results in me being clingy when i get into a relationship and i become insecure. (like the texting)
but here’s a value i do have. that i’m proud of. and i learned this one today too. Suffering. i use to value suffering. it drove me. it motivated me to do good. it reminded me of the bad things… and pushed me to be better. it’s the reason i have my tattoo of my ex wife… which i got AFTER my divorce. to remind me of the suffering. i loved her very much, and she showed me tremendous love. but, our relationship was very difficult, and we both suffered a lot. i did a lot of things that i wish i could take back.. and as a result… she suffered. and i suffered. i dont’ want to forget that. because i want to be better.
My father use to make a joke when i was a kid. i thought it was stupid. when i’d complain about something… that he thought was trivial.. .like… “i feel sad i don’t have this toy….”…. he’d say “i have a solution. go into the garage, grab a hammer, put your finger on a table… and smash it with the hammer. you’ll feel better about the toy!”
i use to think this was a stupid fucking joke. but when i got older, it made sense. it wasn’t meant to say you should distract yourself. See, what i forgot was that my dad was suffering, he too was working to provide for us…. he was making the best choices he could make in life for us. and it was very hard on him… he suffered every day… and he wished he could impart his values on me as well. the point wasn’t that i’ll feel better about the toy. the point was that he wished i’d stop asking about the toy, and have a value in something more worthwhile. he suffered in life a lot… for what he believed was a greater good. he helped so many people escape poverty and communism…. and he willingly suffered for those around him. his point was… learn to suffer a bit…. and do it for a greater good. You’ll stop asking for toys.
here’s another example. imagine someone puts a gun to your head, and says… you have to run 26 miles in 4 hours. if you fail, they will kill you and your entire family. sucks right? Now imagine you train for 2 years to run a marathon. every day improving a bit. and when you run those 26 miles, your family and loved ones are there with you … celebrating with you the wonderful accomplishment you have. pretty fucking good day right? same 26 miles, same 4 hours, same exact suffering…. yet totally different feeling. one is suffering someone put ON you… and one is suffering you yourself chose.
when you value things that are based on OTHERS’ or choices…. you stand at risk of the world shitting on you and you crumbling. when you value things that you can control… even when the world shits on you… you push forward… and aren’t phased. your life QUALITY is better… because it’s in your own mind.
now, in fairness, that doesn’t mean i only want to suffer. of course i want to enjoy things, and have fun. i’m not a masochist. but it’s important we learn from our failures, and mistakes, because THEY are the ones that teach us what to do next. when we value suffering…. (that does NOT mean you need to constantly suffer!) …. you learn to carry your scars, and grow stronger…. to attain the things you want.
I know i have these two values that i take in relationships and everyday life…. suffering, and honesty. the suffering one i kinda forgot… the honesty one has been there for a while. I also know, that somewhere along the past 8 years… i’ve stopped suffering. i’ve grown lazy, and accustomed to instant gratification, and escaping suffering… whenever i felt sad… id’ find a solution quick. and i’ve gotten REALLY good at it. and that’s made me lazy.. .forgetful… i’ve forgotten a few things about life in my pursuit of pleasure… in my valuing of “fun”. the last real suffering i had was losing my ex wife. before that? well…. i think when i came to america.. and i was like 26… 27? and my first wife cheated on me, divorced me, left me riddled with debt…. (never mind how much of an abusive asshat i was to her ! ) …. my point is… around 30… i got REALLY good at mastering my own existence… and getting pleasure whenever i wanted. i got so comfortable in my skin… and it became addicting to escape suffering …. sure, i worked hard, and did things that were challenging… but i didn’t TRULY suffer….. and that made me lazy.
I use to suffer a lot. a hell of a lot. most of my childhood, teenage years, and 20s… i suffered. i fucked up a lot too.. but i suffered. and i grew… and this whole recent situation where i have to learn to not be insecure as a lover and blah blah … well that’s really humbled me.
values aren’t something that we hold steadfast 24/7. we often forget them. we lose sight of them. we shift. we develop coping mechanisms based on these values… and they in turn become metrics for what we want to count as “success”… and eventually we instinctively just value the results….
I’ve always been prideful. Egotistical. meh… it sucks, but it’s not too bad…. you know what’s bad? that i now value the amount of texts i get from girls in a day. that my own self validation … is defined by the quantity of texts i get. yeah… it’s that fucking embarrassing.
Suffering can ground us. it reminds us of who we are at our core… and gives us a perspective on what we want to achieve. it’s like the secret sauce that makes everything better.
again, this isn’t to say i feel shame for being happy i got validated …. my point is that… i shouldn’t have actually had my whole day improve because of this thing that is completely outside of my control.